Susan is currently developing three projects; Collective Body, Net Drawings and Taxonomy of Air; from the Ten Thousand Things.
This series explores visual and conceptual correspondences between the human body and universal forms. Large-scale charcoal drawings depict specific features as metaphor to contemplate human identity. The current subject of this work is the human palm. The images are highly rendered and composed to create a sense of ambiguity between representation and abstraction, acting as maps of and thresholds to territory of personal history, biological links and connections beyond the terrestrial. Layers of line and mark accumulate into dense intervals of strata that visually overlap and distort a sense of linear time to connect the relationships between the physical and the ethereal, the personal and the transpersonal, the intimate and the infinite. Through these interactions, the work offers a sense of the self as origin, while questioning that which is referred to as relational, identified, expected or imagined.
The Net drawings extract and weave the individual palm lines of my own, and family member’s hands into intricate configurations referencing biological and cosmological structures. The lines of the human palm contain unique traces describing markers that are historically believed to reveal future potential and past experience. In this work, the specific character of these marks is carefully drawn and layered to suggest interconnected filaments and codes of life unfolding and evolving.
The Taxonomy of Air; from The Ten Thousand Things
The Taxonomy of Air; from The Ten Thousand Things, (inspired by the I Ching), is an organically evolving installation piece examining the metaphoric relationships between the infinite and the finite, and the natural and the fabricated. Through the spontaneous repetition of the drawing process, an endless variety of new forms initiated from the feeling and memory of my daily nature walk meditations explore the practice of collection and classification of experience. The drawings are made with ink on small torn pieces of rice paper and hang from pins to the wall allowing them to move and flutter as actual forms and debris in nature, addressing the ephemeral associations of time, growth and decay.
The project to date consists of approximately 2,800 drawings. Susan will continue to generate these drawings until she reaches 10,000.
Susan D’Amato is a drawing-based artist, whose research involves anthropological investigations into the natural world, including its origin and transcendence, the passage of time and various integrated structures. Her work combines representation, abstraction and traditional processes with contemplative practices to explore visual and conceptual relationships between the “Kosmos” (i.e., the order of things) and indexical markers of the body. Such relationships, she believes, function as metaphors for human experience and identity.
Based in Central New York (U.S.), D’Amato is an associate professor and coordinator of drawing in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, School of Art. She earned an M.F.A. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.F.A. from the University of Connecticut.
Veil , 42 x 84, Charcoal and Pastel on digital ghost print
Aevum, 42 x 72, Charcoal and Pastel on digital ghost print
Wake, 42 x 55, Charcoal and Pastel on digital ghost print
Span, 42 x 86, Charcoal and Pastel on digital ghost print
Net 1, 18 x 24, Graphite on Mylar
Net 2, 18 x 24, Graphite on Mylar
Net 3 (orb), 11”x10”, Graphite on Mylar, (invert print)
Net 4, 14” x 17”, Graphite on Mylar, (invert print)
Departure, 60”x42”, Charcoal and Pastel
Taxonomy of Air; from the Ten Thousand Things, Install, 56 x 132” Partial Installation 450
drawings, Ink on Rice Paper, (ongoing project 2012-present)
Taxonomy, 3 drawing detail